Wednesday, April 14

Q. Why then do we live apart from God and out of harmony with creation?

Aha! The Holy Grail of questioning, since the beginning of time! Why do we suffer? And, perhaps less often addressed, why do we make other people suffer?

Actually, there's enough talk out there about why we suffer, and most of it is better than what little I can say. But I am now intrigued by my own question: Why do we, who claim to hate suffering so much, make others suffer?

We could deny that we do, but a question or two to our acquaintances and families would soon set that fib straight. We make others suffer, often.

Why? Why can we not just stop causing pain to others, and live in peace? Sure, there would still be really evil people, who enjoy making others suffer, but much of the little, petty, daily suffering would cease.

The problem, of course, is that we all enjoy making others suffer (or at least prefer our own comfort over theirs). Someone wrongs you quite spitefully, what is your first response? Is it how to get them back? How to make them hurt?

Let's say that I and a coworker are both up for promotions: he has a family to feed, and things are tight, and I am a single living comfortably. But I really want that car I've been saving up for, and so I hint things about my coworker that hurt his chances for promotion. Or maybe I simply start working more overtime, something a family man cannot really do (without sacrificing his family in the process), and by my hard-working devotion to my job, get the promotion? Have I made my coworker suffer? Have I made his family suffer?

Why is there suffering? Because we either enjoy causing it, or do not care about causing it, if it suits our ends. We insist that the world revolves around us. G.K. Chesterton once wrote a response to the question "What's wrong with the world?", which perfectly sums up this problem. Chesterton's answer? "I am."

A. From the beginning, human beings have misused their freedom and made wrong choices.

comments: e-mail

No comments: